I attempted to recreate Christmas in Iceland, and very quickly discovered I do not have the necessary baking skills. So this became a slightly less aggressive set of homeschool Christmas and homeschool geography lessons, and instead focused a bit more on the spirit of the activity.
Christmas in Iceland
So, an Iceland tradition is to make leaf bread. I was going to make it from scratch and had included a recipe for it in my printables, but as I was looking at it I realized it makes a lot, and it measures it in a way I don’t have an easy way to measure. I don’t have a kitchen scale, so I’m not sure how I’d measure out 2 pounds of flour.
So, I opted to use canned biscuits and let them try and shape them into leaf shapes. Which lasted for all of 10 seconds, and changed into this:
I think that particular one is a snowman. Maybe. They changed what they were making constantly.
And here he’s making his biscuit into a beard. I really can’t make this stuff up.
Well after they’d played with it sufficiently they let me fry up their bread. Leaf bread is fried in oil. Afterwards we rolled ours in sugar to make it sweet, I don’t think that’s strictly speaking an Icelandic tradition, but it was fun.
The boys weren’t too keen on them, but Princess and I loved them. Then we had some friends over that afternoon to finish off the mystery and the kids devoured the rest while the Moms kicked them outside to play. It was loads of fun.
A bit of history behind this Christmas in Iceland tradition
Traditionally in Iceland they don’t have a lot of grain and flour products because their growing season is so short. So, they traditionally will have lots of breads and cakes at holidays and things because that is the main time they get to eat them. So, for them it was a big deal to have leaf bread and it was a made into works of art.
What other traditions are there in Iceland?
Well, you’ll see in our Christmas in Iceland lapbook, they had Yule Lads, which sounded a bit to me like Santa’s elves, so I need to do more research on them.
They also had, the Christmas Cat, which in addition to the book in here we did a fun Christmas Cat craft.
All in all I found our Christmas in Iceland unit rather fun.
An Almost Unschooling Mom says
It looks like the kids had fun with it. Now I have to go look up leaf bread to see what it looks like in Iceland – interesting about their grain heavy celebration.
Raising a Happy Child says
Russian holidays are traditionally grain heavy as well. It looks like you “tweaked” the activity just right.
An Almost Unschooling Mom says
Okay – so I looked it up – it looks like fancy fry bread, with sugar added – very interesting! Did you check out fry bread when you passed through Navajo country on your summer trip (it was you who passed through Navajo country wasn't it?)?
That sounds like fun! Iceland is a place that I would love to visit someday.
We love fried bread! I agree with Leah, the only difference is the sugar.
I'm very curious to see what you have in store tomorrow!
And I didn't realize that flour was so scarce in Iceland!
The bread beard is too funny! Neat lesson plan, even if you had to adapt it some.
I've been lovin' your Christmas Around the World activities! I hope I will do them next year.
Gotta hand it to you – your children know how to be creative and have fun! The beard is something that my children would find hilarious.
I really like your idea of buying small ornaments and putting them together in a cute tin. I can't wait for the Christmas sales – I will be stocking up for our activities for next Christmas and now I will be keeping my eye out for itty bitty ornaments that I can put together in a tin.
Melanie Blignaut says
That looks like fun.